Military bases and installations in the United States have been ordered to raise their force protection condition status to Bravo (FPCON Bravo), due to general concerns about ISIS related threats, but not because of any specific threat or plot.
U.S. Northern Command’s Admiral William Gortney ordered the increase in the force protection condition from FPCON Alpha, which is the standard for U.S. military bases.
The order will result in some visible increases in security, though there will also be other not-so-visible measures that will be taken. It is unclear how long the order to raise the force protection condition will remain in effect.
Force Protection Conditions essentially set a baseline for U.S. military facilities to follow for their security. This would include military recruiting stations and offices outside of U.S. military bases. The Pentagon has also been at FPCON Alpha, but with an enhanced security posture for quite some time.
The last time the force protection status was raised to the Bravo level was on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The higher levels of force protection are Charlie and Delta.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren confirmed the increased force protection but stressed it was not due to a specific threat but “a general increase in the threat environment.” He explained “We’ve seen what happened in Texas, we’ve seen other social media and Internet-based discussions and threats and so we have detected a general increase in the overall environment.”
Earlier this week, two gunmen were killed by police in Garland, Texas, as they targeted a contest for cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The FP Condition was raised to Bravo “as a prudent measure to remind installation commanders at all levels within the USNORTHCOM area of responsibility to ensure increased vigilance and safeguarding of all DOD personnel, installations and facilities,” a defense official said. “This change, in addition to random drills or exercises, is a mean to ensure that we effectively execute our force protection mission.”
“We share the same concern about the potential threat posed by homegrown violent extremists, as discussed publicly by Director Comey and others. While our FPCON change is not tied to a specific, credible threat, recent events have led us to recognize the need to take prudent steps to ensure our FPCON measures can be increased quickly and unpredictably at the macro level, just as they routinely vary at the micro level on individual installations.”
The official stressed, “This FPCON change is not tied to any specific threat, but one of the ways we ensure the force protection of our service members and their families.”